HealthDay News — There are considerable challenges associated with health care environmental hygiene (HEH) practices in health care facilities (HCFs) worldwide, according to a study published online May 26 in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Alexandra Peters, from the University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a pilot survey to test a version of a framework for HEH self-assessment. The online survey was sent to 743 HCFs; 51 HCFs from 35 countries participated. The survey was based on the World Health Care Organization Multimodal Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategy, which includes questions on participant and facility characteristics, protocols, practices, staffing, training, management, work culture, and survey appropriateness.

The researchers found that 50 of 51 HCFs were lacking in some or all of the five components of the WHO multimodal strategy (availability of appropriate cleaning products and supplies, training and education, monitoring and feedback, reminders in the workplace, and institutional safety climate). Widespread challenges in HEH faced by institutions around the world were demonstrated.


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“From the data gathered, it is obvious that there are major resource, structural, and cultural challenges to HEH implementation,” the authors write. “Development of evidence-based guidelines and the development and implementation of the Health care Environmental Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework tool will help to better address this in the future. Changes to HEH must be multimodal in nature and take into account the culture and resource levels of each HCF.”

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